Vanilla Cupcakes - Baking and Decorating

bridal shower sweets

Recently, I was inspired to bake and decorate cupcakes for a bridal shower being given for my niece.  Wanting to help in some way and mentioning, "I can do cupcakes", to my delight, she took me up on the offer. The shower was Kate Spade inspired, knowing my choice in decorating was going to be fun.

It was time to start baking, searching for my daughter, Mekenzie's, favorite recipe was a bit tedious.  She is away at college so I wasn't sure if she might have taken the recipe or if it was still in the book. Telephoning her, Mekenzie quickly recited the ingredients to me by memory. In the meantime, between drooling over every other delicious sweet in the book I found the written copy.

cupcake recipe
The Recipe Book
We enjoy this recipe and it always comes out very nicely, it is a vanilla batter.  You can find the recipe at the bottom of my post.

vanilla cupcakes
Vanilla Cupcakes
Finished baking and now comes the fun part, the icing. As a young girl, I remember my mother making all sorts of cakes for people and even a few wedding anniversaries.  She made icing and kept in the refrigerator for the next go around.  My favorite part of the cake is the icing.  All too often, my mother would find me going into the refrigerator eating the icing by the spoon fulls leaving her with little to decorate. As the years go by, my indulgence finds a bit of cake much more enjoyable with the icing.

Back to the Kate Spade theme, soon enough my fingers were bright pink along with a few other things I touched around the kitchen.  It's like painting, as a meticulous painter somehow I'm constantly covered with paint. Same with the dye, no matter how it's used, my fingers are still going to be odd colors.  Different shades of pink were my choosing.

Making several batches of icing and going to town decorating the cupcakes was so much fun for me.  Our daughter Mekenzie is the master of baking and we miss her sweets.  Almost every week she would bake delicious cupcakes having to share them at school or give to neighbors so that her father wouldn't eat them all in one day. Richard doesn't have much self-control with sweets and we didn't want him to be tortured day after day.

Flowers, roses and swirls, were my creations.  Baking and decorating these cupcakes filled my day with a lot of joy and pleasure.

vanilla floral iced cupcakes
The Kate Spade Inspired Cupcakes

A week or two later just before cooking dinner the idea of cupcakes popped into my mind.  It was the evening before Valentine's day.  Whipping up a batch of vanilla batter and taking them out of the oven, immediately, I texted my neighbors asking them to come decorate a few for their Valentine.  My evening with Sharon and Sandee was a fun girls time.  Sandee had bright red fingertips, much worse than mine, and Sharon was like a child enjoying an art project. For not having decorated with icing before they both enjoyed it and did a sweet job!

decorating cupcakes

vanilla cupcakes for valentines
Valentine Sweets

Vanilla Cupcake Batter


1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Line 2 (1/2 cup - 12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers

In a small bowl, combine the flours, set aside

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.  Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla.  With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.  Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.  Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire race before icing.


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